The problem is unique to digital storage. Data is stored in some medium in the form of bits. This is subsequently read by software when a user wants to access it. The fast pace at which the technology has evolved has meant that data stored in some forms are all but lost in a generation or two because the technology to read them is obsolete. For example, even Nasa found that some of the data captured in its early space missions, which were stored on magnetic tapes, was almost lost. For individuals and firms, data stored a couple of decades ago in floppy disks is today difficult to recover.
Cerf, who is an employee of Google, has been advocating a systematic approach by both industry and governments to insure against the loss of digitally stored data to technological obsolescence. This is a global problem which will require all stakeholders to put their heads together.